- BEST BOOT KNIVES
- Boker Savannah Steel Blade
- Reapr 4.75-inches Double-Edge Blade Tac Boot Knife
- ABKT Elite Boot Fixed 3.5 Blade in Black PVC Handle
- Rothco Raider I Boot Knife
- Smith & Wesson FDE 6.25-inches High-Carbon SS Boot Knife
- Knifemaking Medium Fixed 7 7/8-inches Blade Boot Knife
- Camillus Heater 4.5-inches Boot/Neck Knife
- BUYING GUIDE & FAQ'S
Boot knives have had something of a renaissance over the last couple of decades. Although they were popular back in the day, before guns were more reliable, when men needed to be able to protect themselves at the drop of the hat or slide of a hand in their boot. Recently, they’ve become one of the must-have items for people interested in kitting themselves out with utility and survivalist equipment, gadgets and accessories. Knives are one of the oldest and most useful accessories we’ve ever carried on our personage.
They’re more than just useful for stabbing and inflicting other types of blood-pouring wounds on other humans though. Campers, hikers, mountain climbers, divers and just about anyone else involved in pastime or work involving materials and fabrics and rope that needs to be cut quickly, rely on blade. Boot knives have a kinda romantic nature to them, though. The idea of having a concealed weapon that you can reach in no time at all, can instill in you a certain sense of badassery. Can make the everyman feel like John Rambo, one of the A-Team, or at the very least Bear Grylls.
If you’re in the market for boot knives, whether it’s for self-defense or just to help you out of binds and have had a look at Google or Amazon recently – you’ll have found a mind-melting array of different options. How do you choose which are best and worth investigating further, and which should be resigned to the ‘don’t bother’ pile? You turn to the ever-reliable team here at Men’s Gear.
In the past, we’ve covered all kinds of utility and tactical gear such as tomahawks, pens, wallets, bowie knives and karambit knives. However, we’ve yet to cover boot knives specifically. So, this will be a whole lot of fun and you’ll all be imagining the fun ways you can use these cool tools. We’ll look at the most important specification – dimensions, blade length and handle material. That’s not all though, as we like to be thorough, regular Men’s Gear readers will know. In addition to highlighting the 7 best boot knives of the year, we’ll also give some hints as to what you should look for in a boot knife and how to wear one. Without further ado, let’s get down to it.
BEST BOOT KNIVES
We’re jumping into the big leagues with this extremely cool fixed blade from Boker. Designed by the legendary Armin Stutz from the equally famed knife forge SteirerEisen, comes the Savannah. It’s called that because it was developed with the insight and assistance of professional rangers who have extensive experience with South African big game hunting. Savannah, as in the Savannah.
It is a professional standard outdoor and hunting knife and perfect as a boot knife. With an extremely large 4 5/8-inches blade formed from N690, a cobalt-alloy steel, it’s more than capable of dealing with any kind of cutting task. With a full tang, you get not only amazing amounts of strength, but stability too. Which is always important when carrying such a sharp piece of steel.
The micarta handle is probably our favorite part, scaled to not only make it look sexy, but to perform the rather practical role of being extremely easy to keep a firm grip on. Even if it’s wet or you’re wearing gloves, you’ll not drop this in a hurry. Did we mention it comes with a nice high-end leather sheath to keep it in, whether it’s in your boot or not.
- That blade length is something dreamy
- The steel used to forge it, needs praising too
- Would you really want to use something so beautiful?
- Dimensions 9 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches
- Blade Length 4 5/8-inches
- Handle Material Micarta
Another major knife manufacturer, along with Boker who always seem to crop up in the best of lists, is Reapr. Their entry into the boot knives market is this beautiful thing. The blade is a generously and functionally long 4.75-inches and made to precise specifications with black-oxide coated stainless-steel. The coolest thing though, is the fact it’s doubled-edged.
To help you keep a firm grip on this boot dagger, the handle is fashioned with the extremely reliably firm fiberglass-TPR. When you’re not wielding it and getting yourself out of trouble, it slides comfortably into a nylon-web-made sheath with specially molded scabbard. This enables the complete package, that is both the knife and sheath can slide into your boots easily.
If lightweight, sleek practicality is what you’re looking for in a boot knife, this will surely suit you perfectly.
- Lightweight and slick, despite the long blade
- Double-edged blade for increased capabilities
- Sheath is very confusing to figure out, thanks to poor instructions
- Dimensions 9 x 2 z 2-inches
- Blade Length 4.75-inches
- Handle Material Fiberglass-filled TPR
Next up, if you’re looking for a very simplistic and small boot knife, the ABKT 3.5-inch bladed knife might be a good option. It’s a full tang knife and has a double-edged blade for greater versatility and flexibility. The handle is comfortable enough and made from a durable PVC. With a blade length of 3.5-inches and total length of 7.25-inches, this is a very easy to conceal knife.
Although it’s very simplistic and doesn’t have the pizzazz of more expensive daggers, that’s just it, that’s the charm right there – it’s not one of the high-end extremely expensive ones, it’s a relatively low-priced workhorse that’ll give you plenty of use and return on your meagre investment.
- Small and therefore easy to conceal
- Double-edged blade for extra versatility and flexibility
- Handles could benefit from groves or some help to make it grip better
- Dimensions 7.2 x 0.6 x 1-inches
- Blade Length 3.5-inches
- Handle Material PVC
Look at the selection of Rothco products and you’ll see that the company is clearly committed to providing a wide array of practical and ingeniously economic tools for tactical and survivalist use. There’s stainless steel folding shovels, pick mattock axes and even cookware and cups. So, the fact they’ve got a boot knife isn’t too much of a leap. Is it any good though?
We think so, especially when you consider its affordable retail price, the fact the blade is made from stainless-steel and it has a reasonable quality sheath. It won’t win a beauty pageant for knives, but it may help you if you find yourself in a bind.
- Stainless steel blade
- Lightweight, despite its longer length than others
- Sheath is not made from real leather, so not as durable
- Dimensions 10 x 6 x 2-inches
- Blade Length N/A
- Handle Material N/A
It’s fair to say any Smith & Wesson product needs more attention than others thanks to that iconic name alone. They’re known for making high-end, high-quality, durable, robust and most crucially, functional items like knives and have the craftmanship and skills at their disposal to do it better than most other companies.
So, it comes as no surprise that this simple and elegant, if a little small, concealable knife is as classy as you’d expect from S & W. The blade length is just 2.75-inches but given its position in the market as a boot knife, that’s not too bad really. With a weight of just 1.6-ounces, it’s easy to pull at speed.
The Smith & Wesson branding is like a sign that tells you something is made with the good stuff and corners haven’t been cut. That’s what this knife is like. It’s got a nice sharp blade made from durable high-carbon 8Cr13MoV black oxide-coated stainless-steel. Which is basically a very good quality metal and even the comfortable handle has had thought and patience spent on it.
- High-end durable and toughened stainless-steel
- FDE rubberized handle for comfort and security when holding it
- Could have a longer blade
- Dimensions 3.7 x 1.4 x 1-inches
- Blade Length 2.75-inches
- Handle Material Rubber
Although information is sparse on this next boot knife, we still think it’s worthy of inclusion here and you shouldn’t be too quick to overlook it. It’s got a practical, short overall length of 7 7/8-inches and a blade length of 3.5-inches. With double edging, it means you’re offered more flexibility with how you use it and the blade itself is a nice robust and tough metal.
There’s a brass finger guard that serves as a nice bit of protection for you, so even if you need to use it in a hurry and aren’t thinking, you’re unlikely to accidentally injure yourself. Given its low price and lightweight build, we think this is a nice option.
- Lightweight and compact
- Double-edged dagger-style blade offers flexibility and versatility
- Handle could be more comfortable
- Dimensions 7 7/8-inches
- Blade Length 3.5-inches
- Handle Material Metal
Okay, so we may have almost wet ourselves with excitement at this rather nifty and slick beast of a boot knife. Camillus have come up with an ingenious alternative to the traditional style of dagger you’ll find marketed as the best boot knives. This resembles more of a tactical penknife or the kind you’d expect to find on a swiss army knife.
We love the convenience of it all. Though we’re not sure about the finger holders in place of a real handle, because the steel might be a little abrasive on your skin, especially if you’re whipping it out at short notice and in a hurry. However, just about everything else we admire and are kinda head over heels about. Its blade is the shortest in our guide, but that’s not surprising.
After all it looks like it should be an addition to your keyring. It is, however, made with 440 stainless-steel that’s been bonded with Carbonite-Titanium to give it an extra layer of protection against corrosion and rust. This means it will stay sharper for longer. In addition to the finger hole though, there’s also a bottle opener, beaded chain for attaching it in a variety of different ways.
Come on guys, it even has a paracord loop. With a belt clip and molded sheath, this is truly a stunning little thing. Especially at such a low price point.
Note: This product is no longer available, we have chosen the most similar product from Amazon’s catalog.
- The reinforced and rust-protected Carbonite-Titanium coated 440 Stainless steel
- The additional tactical and utility elements
- Lack of proper handle may make it uncomfortable to use for long periods
- Dimensions 7.38 x 4.08 x 1.5-inches
- Blade Length 1.75-inches
- Handle Material Stainless-steel
Sharpen Up and Slip One in Your Boot!
We’re quite sure if you happened across this post and weren’t exactly looking for the best boot knives, you’d be pleasantly surprised that you did. That’s how confident we are with our selection. Now, if you did come into this post and guide knowing what to expect and left with a better idea of what boot knife you’re going to invest in, we’re delighted. That’s always our aim, to cut through the inferior products and slice through mediocrity to produce the finest and best of what’s available. We feel we’ve achieved that with these boot knives.
There’s a careful and balanced mixture of both big-name brands and lesser known gems. As knives, like most personal protection and utility/tactical weapons and tools are very personal, it’ll always come down to personal preference regarding the items you choose. The fact we singled out the Boker ahead of the rest does not mean we’d scornfully mock you for investing in the Smith & Wesson. Why would anyone mock anyone for choosing Smith & Wesson? We’re merely your guides and aren’t here to judge or tell you what you should be buying. Which is why you can trust that the 7 we have chosen were all handpicked because of something they brought to the table.
Often, what each blade from each brand brings to the table is different from the rest. Take the last in our guide as a stunning example of this – it’s barely got a real handle but has the kinda anti-corrosive material you’d wish all knives had and a slew of extra features that are hard to ignore. So, whichever you choose, we hope you have a lot of great experiences with them (well, hopefully you’ll never have to use one in a self-defense situation).
BUYING GUIDE & FAQ'S
What to Look for in a Boot Knife
Given the sheer variety there are to choose from when it comes to boot knives, including and beyond the 7 we’ve featured here in our guide, it can be rather intimidating. Especially if you’re completely new to knives in general or at the very least, boot knives. To help you figure out what’s what, we’ve put listed and described the features you should look for when selecting a suitable boot knife.
Weight – Weight is important, not just from the point of view of it determines how maneuverable a blade is, but because it may be affected by the legal stipulations outlined in your area. The materials that are used have the biggest influence on the weight. The lighter the knife is, the easier it is to use.
Size – Another obvious one, because as well as figuring out the right size of knife for your hand you need to think about the size of a boot knife in relation to…well, your shoes and boots. If you select one that’s too big, it’ll stick out and completely ruin the hidden side of things or at the very least result in chafe-city for your foot. It’s best to look at a knife’s dimensions and then try and pair them with your foot, while you’re wearing socks and boots, to see if it’s a good fit.
Blade Length – The length of the blade is something you need to pay close attention to, especially if you wanna avoid the long arm of the law. It’s always a good idea to check the local regulations for your city, town or state. Many knife manufacturers do act within the regulations and are not out to make sure knife owners get booked by the cops. However, always measure the blade length when you receive a knife, to make sure it is the length you thought it was.
Handle – As you presumably intend on using the knife, when necessary, with your hand, the kinda grip you’ve got is so very important. What good is a knife if you can’t grip the damn thing?
Materials – Most boot knives and other utility and tactical knives these days tend to be made from alloy blends. This gives them the swift action you may be looking for in a crisis, while keeping things nice and affordable. Obviously, stainless-steel is also a material of knife you should consider – very reliable and robust.
Design of the Blade Point – You’ll find that most survival and boot knives are really the same. There are a variety of them with different blade points, like:
- Trailing point
- Spear point
- Straight back
- Tanto point
- Drop point
- Clip point
Obviously, they’ll have their own pros and cons. A trailing point, spear point or clip point is the one you should be looking for if you’re just trying to kit yourself out with something for self-defense.
Edges – The edges determine the type of cut you can achieve. There are three different types – flat, serrated and a hybrid. However, if you know what you’re doing with a knife, you’ll find any sharp knife does the trick.
How to Wear a Boot Knife
You’ve learnt a lot about boot knives in this guide, now let’s look at how to wear them. Despite their popularity of late being down to movies and television, boot knives are extremely practical. While some come with a sheath, not all do, so there are two options you can decide on for wearing a boot knife.
- Craft a holder. Get yourself a leather sheath with a very simple design that will be suitable for you boot knife size and specifications, and then pop it into your boot while you find the most comfortable part. You then need to make a small hole in the edge of your boot and in the sheath. Now take some leather stripping or twine, high-quality and durable stuff and fasten the sheath to the boot.
- Just simply push the sheath inside your boot, using the cuff to hang it from. This is particularly easy with mid-calf or ankle boots. The main problem with this method is the thickness of the material and the cuff, as some sheaths are not designed to work with thicker-cut boots.